Osceola’s Cheryl Conley a finalist for National Teacher of Year

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Cheryl Conley, 2012 Teacher of the Year for Indian River County and the State of Florida, has been selected as a finalist for the 2011 National Teacher of the Year award.

Conley is one of four finalists for the nation’s top teaching honor – National Teacher of the Year -a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs.  The National Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target.

“This year has been an amazing journey for me,” said Conley.  “I have had the opportunity to meet with students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members as I have traveled across the state of Florida.  I am forever grateful to the faculty and staff at Osceola Magnet School, the School District of Indian River County and the State of Florida for giving me the honor and the responsibility of serving as our school, county, and state Teacher of the Year.  My life has been changed and I am truly a better person because of it. I am honored to be a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. It would be a tremendous opportunity to advocate for children all over our great nation.”

A panel of educators, representing the 14 largest national education organizations, chose the finalists from the 2011 teachers of the year representing the U.S. states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and four U.S. extra-state jurisdictions, and will select the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

Recognition by President Barack Obama of the national honoree and the state representatives is tentatively scheduled to take place during the week of May 2-6.

“We are extremely proud of Cheryl Conley,” said Superintendent Harry La Cava. “She is an outstanding educator and a wonderful person who is so very deserving of this honor.”

Conley will travel to Washington, D.C., March 7-8 for a round of intensive interviews with the National Teacher of the Year Committee.

“My congratulations go out to Florida’s Teacher of the Year, Cheryl Conley, for being named as a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year award,” said Florida Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Eric Smith. “Cheryl is an innovative leader who teaches with passion and works tirelessly to help every one of her students find success. She is a true professional who understands the powerful role of collaboration and how it can be used to produce bold new ideas that benefit our students in countless ways.”

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